Delaney pitches pharmaceutical tax plan to Iowans


Democratic Presidential Candidate John Delaney pitched his idea to tax pharmaceutical companies that offer drugs to other G20 countries at a lower price than they are selling the same drugs to the United States to a crowd gathered in Iowa Tuesday afternoon.

"One of the things I'm going to introduce – I haven't talked about this publicly, but I'm going to tell you – I'm proposing we put a tax on pharmaceutical companies," Delaney said. "They have to pay 100 percent tax on the difference in prices for what they sell a drug in the G20 versus what they sell it here."

U.S. Presidential candidate john delaney speaks to a crowd gathered at the perry perk Tuesday, FEb. 19.

U.S. Presidential candidate john delaney speaks to a crowd gathered at the perry perk Tuesday, FEb. 19.

Delaney, who was speaking to a crowd of about 30 people in Perry, said in places like Germany citizens pay about one-third the price of what United States citizens for do prescription drugs because Germany has one person who can negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. He argued that's not far.

Delaney's plan would mean if a company sells a drug for $20 in Germany and the same drug for $100 here they'd have to pay 100 percent of the $80 difference in taxes.

"You know why?" Delaney asked. "Because I want them to lower the prices here and raise them there.

"Because the issue with the pharmaceutical companies is yeah their margins are really high, but the real issue is where they're making the money," Delaney said. "They make it all here. This needs to be a trade issue for this country.

"We fund the whole industry. You fund the whole industry and it's ridiculous."

He said poor countries will not be included in his plan because "we should be able to sell drugs at low prices to poor countries."

The plan, Delaney said, would essentially turn the issue into a trade issue.

While he said pharmaceutical prices should be considered a trade issue, he said America's current issues with China aren't due to trade.

"China, in my opinion, has engaged in what I describe as pirate-like practices," Delaney said. "That's the only words I can use. They steal intellectual property with abandon. They don't play by any of the international norms around economic policy."

He said President Donald Trump "diagnosed it wrong" in regards to China.

"He thinks it's the trade balance. That's not the problem," Delaney said. "It's all this theft. It's the fact that they have a very specific policy, Made in China 2025, where they basically want to steal everybody's intellectual property and make their companies the dominate companies. And they're picking off our companies here."

To stop China, Delaney said he'd get all of the allies the United States has spent the last 70 building alliances with to combat China's ways.

Delaney also:

  • called climate change the "most existential crisis our children face" and said he would work to implement a carbon tax.

  • said he wants to make K-14 education the new K-12 and called for more technical training.

  • said healthcare is a right. He said will launch a healthcare program everyone can be enrolled in from when they're born to when they're 65. Basic care standards would be similar to what the Affordable Care Act outlines.